tv Ohio Senate Debate CSPAN October 20, 2016 10:21pm-11:20pm EDT
candidates from ohio where incumbent rob portman is up against incumbent ted strickland. topics included the supreme court, the environment and health care. this hour-long debate was hosted by the city club of cleveland. >> the issues that matter to you rob portman, ted strickland ohio counts race for the u.s. senate sponsored by the city of the cleveland. >> moderator: the idea center in ohio. i i am caring tassler your chief of the radio and public
television statehouse. hymn i am anchored news back in cleveland. welcome to the final senate debate between rob portman and ted strickland. this debate is sponsored by the city club of cleveland which drafted tonight's format. the rules have been agreed to by the campaign. media partners and 90.3 debbie cpni ts stream and script stations news five in cleveland and that bcpo cincinnati nynen your site. we welcome those watching on abc stations as well as this tuning into the ohio public radio and television students watching on the ohio channel or nationwide on c-span a horse for those here in our studio audience. the 60 minute debate is divided into segments each 30 minutes long. in the first half karen and i will ask the candidates questions and the second half the candidates will respond to questions from the audience. one of those questions will come from twitter so if you would like to submit a question used the hashtag city club. candidates will have 90 seconds to respond to each question and
the candidate originally asked each question will have an additional 30 seconds for rebuttal. the questions have not been shared with the campaign. the audience in the studio have agreed to remain silent so we can focus on what the candidates are saying however would welcome you to applaud at this moment as we welcome the candidates republican incumbent rob portman and democratic challenger ted strickland. [applause] [applause] [applause] >> moderator: we will have opening remarks to the candidates or mind or you will each have two minutes very opening statements. the order was determined by a
coin flip and determined by each candidate. his. >> it's good to be back in cleveland. first the cats and now the indians. a real contrast between the two of us. i've been an independent voice for ohio looking across the aisle with republicans and democrats alike to deliver results for all higher families and workers. and proud that 45 of my bills have been signed into law. one is a very important issue the heroin and prescription drug epidemic called families apart and devastating communities especially in cleveland for my conference of addiction and recovery act will begin to turn the tide in this terrible epidemic. i'm running for chandra who i met today was a brave mom and a heroin addict who needs help. i'm running for the many workers in ohio who are feeling the middle-class squeeze. i've taken the lead on things like retraining in things like ensuring infrastructure projects
can't get off the ground in ensuring we have a level playing field for workers. that levy of plainfield includes legislation that the sheriff and i passed for tire workers and still workers to fight back against unfair work in china than fighting for the 70 new workers right here in cleveland ohio who has a new job because of our legislation that enabled them to win their trade case. i'm proud of the fact that i've been endorsed by every major city newspaper in ohio. cleveland plain dealer said i've reached across the aisle and worked with republicans and democrats to achieve results for cleveland. a they also said they didn't think ted strickland could be effective in the u.s. senate but i think they're right. he was not effective as a congressman, as governor and unfortunately print and 50,000 jobs were lost, 48 in the country and job creation in ohio. 90,000 jobs are lost in even when the voters turned out of
office dean ortiz said about that? he about that? equaling cleveland three said cleveland's biggest enemy is cleveland. and cleveland is the biggest enemy and we cannot afford to go back to ted strickland's ohio. >> you have to mystery opening remarks. hymn hymn it's great to be here in the city of champions. we love that we cared for each other. we lost our first onto a flood in our second to hard times and when i was about five our third home burned to the ground. dad was a steelworker, my mom raised nine kids and i was the first might be up for college. i learned at a very early age that one bad right would lead to real hardship. that's why i have spent my life as a minister, the says, congressman and as your governor fighting for working people and that's who i will fight for the senate.
and then there is the rob portman story. it's a story of wealth, power and privilege. a man who pretends to be nonpartisan but he is always there when mitch mcconnell and the washington power broke use them. in fact he is spending his time and our tax dollars fighting president obama every step of. he said the auto rescue was a lousy deal for ohio. he has voted to keep us from curbing gun violence and this man has always opposed president obama. let me say, he voted against president obama 92% of the time. he even stood with donald trump after donald trump said that the president was not a citizen. so when you hear independence and bipartisanship just remember
this, he is the great pretender. >> moderator: thank you very much governor strickland. we want to start her first question with you. i'm addressing this to you. this has been an unusual election with millennials by the university of massachusetts poll finding they'd rather have a lottery determined the winner than to vote for either hillary clinton or donald trump and the quinnipiac poll released just this week found most voters feel neither trump nor clinton are fit to be president. in light of these polls how do you rationalize supporting the party's candidate for president quixtar. glenn: there are big differences between hillary clinton and donald trump, i can assure you of that. donald trump's unfit to be president. he has spent years saying that president obama was not a citizen. he has mocks the stable people. he has made fun of prisoners of
war and gold star families and so one. he has called women pics and worse. we know that donald trump's not fit to be president. hillary clinton on the other hand has great experience. she's been a first lady, she's been a senator in she was or secretary of state and she has answers to our problems. secretary clinton working with barack obama and bernie sanders have come up with an education plan just as an example and this education plan says if you make less than $125,000 a year your child can go to a public college or university tuition free. that includes about 80% of the people in the state of ohio. think about. parents not having to worry about whether or not they're kidding go to college. senator portman is not going to support that kind of approach because he is not taking the right kind of attitude toward
ohio students. let me tell you he opposes allowing ohio students to refinance their student debt at a lower interest rate. he has tried to cut millions of dollars on the pell grants. he has had to choose between ohio students and in the banks, he chooses the banks. >> moderator: senator portman we know it take you a while to withdraw your support of the republican nominee donald trump but i would like to get your take on the fact that millennials age 18 to 34, is next sad commentary that age group sees the candidates as neither one of them being fit to be president? portman: i do think it's sad and it would be nice if they would look up to their presidential candidates. i do think in this campaign we have seen things said and done. i have stood up as you said and i have consistently stood up
when i thought something was said that was wrong. my opponent hasn't done that by the way. i believe words matter so i took the step not to be able to support a republican nominee for president. when hillary clinton called half of donald trump supporters deplorable to berate your redeemable in racist he hasn't stood up and he still hasn't. words really matter when they are words of this is a campaign between ted strick went when then me. it's not a presidential campaign although we will hear my opponent continually talk about the present campaign. during this campaign he is the one who has used the word in an offensive way somehow connect rape to charter schools. he's the one who said when justice antonin scalia died he was a cause to celebrate and he did so for political purposes. he celebrated the death of
antonin scalia. he came to cleveland handed out out -- and never apologized. he is the one who said cleveland you are worse yourself as opposed to taking responsibility. >> moderator: governor strickland you have 30 seconds to rebut that statement. strickland: my opponent can defend donald trump all he wants but the fact is he stood with if i donald trump after donald trump spent years saying that barack obama was not a citizen. he said by donald trump when he called women pics and worse. he stood by donald trump when he mocked a disabled person and within his political connect relation to try to disassociate himself and at the last minute shortly before this election he said i can't vote for donald trump. >> moderator: senator portman your colleague senator john mccain promised that senate
republicans would be united against any supreme court nominee that hillary clinton put it forward if she were elected president. he issued a statement statement saying he been thoroughly examined the record of any supreme court nominee. it's been said that the senate has the constitutional obligation to up by my advice and consent to some court scholars are saying there's nothing that requires a hearing so regardless of who is elected we push for a fair hearing process for a nominee to the court over and attempt to block a nominee? portman: a fear -- a fair hearing process absolutely and i believe that's what i've done. many of barack obama nominees that i thought were not qualified and did not support that many it is supported including his appointment as executive officers. i don't agree that we should automatically block nominees. we should work together to
figure out how to solve problems and how to ensure to get the best people to serve on the court and assigning those to certain executive branch branch that we should work together on that and ensure we do have ion from republicans and democrats alike. when the democrats took the senate they took away the 60 vote and ticketed 50 votes as they didn't want republican input. but i think we should look at justices on their merit. and not look at justices as to whether they are faithful to the constitution whether they will legislate and what their qualifications of background are and that's what all that's what all of a sudden do. >> moderator: governor strickland. your chance to respond. strickland: mr. portman claims he's an independent and bipartisan but he wasn't bipartisan when it came to guns. he voted against an amendment or bill that would allow, disallow
suspected terrorists from buying guns. he wasn't bipartisan when it came to the bipartisan bill on immigration but perhaps the most egregious action he has taken has been against judge garland. i'm going to read back the words that he just uttered. he said i don't agree that we should automatically block a nominee. for months he has locked judge garland. he said this man should not have a hearing or get a vote. he has disrespected the president and he has failed to carry out his constitutional obligation. he has not done his job for months and we had a 4-4 split on that court. he hasn't answered. he needs to give us an answer. senator every newspaper in this state has criticized you for this and yet you refuse to allow the president's nominees to get
a hearing and a vote. you have got some answering to do to the people of ohio. you are not acting in a bipartisan manner, you are acting in a very hyperpartisan manner when it comes to the supreme court. so he can claim to be independent. he can claim to be bipartisan but on this very serious issue he has not been bipartisan. >> moderator: senator portman you have 30 seconds to respond. portman i did answer question unlike hillary who did not answer. i voted for barack obama's nominees. that's the record. it's a clear record. 45 of my bills that i wrote a become law. this means barack obama sign those bills. by definition they were bipartisan and they got signed into law. washington is a dysfunctional place these days and one reason i'm running for re-election as many people in washington who know how to do that.
>> moderator: mr. strickland there is a growing problem with drugs across the country and also in the state of ohio and in our state alone last year an average of eight people died from overdoses a day many related to opioids like heroin and fentanyl. it has taken a toll on committees that are struggling as well as the number of addicts needing treatment. is this an issue that should be handled as a -- at the community level or is there a role for the federal government? strickland: there is a role for the federal government and you are right in describing the problem. it is a scourge and people are dying needlessly in part because we don't have adequate treatment available for people who are seeking treatment. i know something about this.
i just lost a very close relative to oxycontin overdose a few months ago. it was a sad in a tragic. a beautiful young man who should not have died but the fact is that i was aware of this when i was governor and i started the prescription drug task force was governor. so many of these addictions begin as a prescription use and then people get addicted and they in don't have the dash first to costly so they go to the streets and find heroin and other substitutes. communities need help and i applaud my opponents for calling attention to this issue. but, he has voted against the very resources that communities like cleveland need to fight this scourge. the omnibus bill he voted against but i'm not surprised because there are 14 of there are 14 other things there are 14 of the things in that omnibus bills that he took credit for
the voted against. senator portman is good about describing the problem and these good about showing personal concern but he won't bite the bullet and provide the resources he lets other senators passed the voting carry the water and he takes credit. >> moderator: senator portman is the committee wait to be carried by community leaders or should the federal government step in and do something. portman: i have taken the lead in washington because i believe the federal government does have a role to play. an epidemic. we spend emergency money on ebola or the zika virus. this is an epidemic. this is an emergency might be a so that's why pushed hard over the last few years to write the conference if addiction recovery act. canada lost her daughter holly to an overdose and she has taken her loss and constructively channeled into trying to help.
she testified in washington d.c. before the judiciary committee to be sure we vote on legislation that would help in prevention education treatment and recovery. i was at the women's shelter today meeting with women who are recovering addicts. they need help and they need it now. cleveland lost about one person per day last year to heroin and prescription drug overdoses. this year we on track to lose as many as two people a day. we may see a doubling and more people lost not just to heroin but fentanyl and you for. that's why his important to get implemented. there were no major exceptions of legislation except mine. i was able to convince my colleagues that this was an emergency. what governor strickland is talking about is politics. what i'm talking about is how did your address address in a
way that uses best practices around the country and that's a comprehensive recovery act. strickland: i'm not talking about politics. i'm talking about his record. in december of last year in the omnibus bill there was money in there to provide community of cleveland's resources to fight this scourge in the voted against it. he has spent months traveling around ohio telling people how concerned he is and how much he has done. he didn't have the courage to cast the vote. he lets other signatures -- senators cast the vote and he's for what others have done. other senators had to carry the water for him. >> moderator: we have to move on to our next question. senator portman last november you call for a hault in the resettlement syrian refugees in the united states. they were deep concerns about this government's ability to properly check their backgrounds but if called the persecution of gershon and other minority groups genocide and called on --
most polls show americans are -- to the u.s. accepting more refugees. the pictures of sterry are hunting. what role if any do you think the u.s. should play to govern the people of syria? portman: i think we have let the people of syria down. sadly over 200,000 people have been killed by their own government there. 4 million people have fled the country as refugees. many of state in the area to be resettled and others have gone to europe. some have come here. my response to the question about bringing additional refugees was before they foment security committee said we can figure out who these people are and what their intentions are because we don't have contact with a searing government or people on the ground. that to me is not a good thing
for niceties to do. what i have called for since my first day in the senate is to say let's create in syria a safe zone, no-fly zone where they can stay in their own country. when these refugees have been interviewed and asked would you rather go to europe they say we want to stay home. yet the united states continuese are going to do this in syria to help stop the chemical weapons and provide a safe zone and we don't honor them. you saw this tonight as we talk here tonight the russians and the forces of us thought our bombing civilians. he has been dumping barrel bombs on civilians over the past several years. the united states leads from behind which is what the obama administration promised they would do and that's exactly what they have done and that is what ted strickland supports and is led to tragic consequences. >> moderator: governor strickland would you think is
the role the u.s. and guarding the people of syria? strickland: first of all let me say we lost a great american just recently in the fighting taking place near mosul. we have to remember that with only 1% of the american people protect the 99% of us and we ought to honor our men and women who serve us and never forget their sacrifice for us. syria is a very complex problem. to be honest with you i think much of what we are experiencing in syria and that part of the world as a direct result of the act that we went into iraq some 14 or 15 years ago but what is happening in syria is tragic. russia is complicating it. there are so many factions in syria and just let you say that i believe our first obligation is to keep americans safe and that's my intention. there's something so we can can do there. we can increase our use of airpower. we can increase our use of
drones, we can increase our intelligence gathering but i will tell you one thing that i will never supported that is ground troops being reintroduced into that part of the world. we cannot solve every problem. this war has gone on in that part of the world for some 15 years and i think americans are sick of war. they understand that there are some things we can do. terms the refugees i believe the need to honor our values and we need to bring in those who are properly vetted. it takes a two-year period of time to bet refugees. portman: my concern was the way we have gone about situation is a broader one which is americans roll has been diminished under this president and with the support of my opponent. when he moved to washington d.c. to become a lobbyist for this group called center for american progress p6 on these positions of having america withdraws
strong leadership around the world to see the consequences. boy has occurred. look what's happening on the term border with russia tonight in what happened in crimea and what's happening the south china sea with china building military bases on the coral reef. america has pulled back and in many respects china and russia have taken our place. >> moderator: governor strickland as we look at the issue of criminal justice reform we see police brutality in the shooting of citizens have been in headlines across the country and ohio is not immune. here in cleveland to department is implementing a consent decree with the justice department. the problems extend far beyond the police were according to politifact's minorities from or likely to be overcharged or get harsher sentences than white defendants. what measures can senators take to address the systemic problems in our judicial system at the local level? strickland: we have a problem we
need to face and deal with it. too many young men of color are losing their life america. the statistics tell lyme. it's happening. the man who was in the walmart store holding a toy gun at walmart should be alive. so what should we do? we need to recognize that black wives do in fact matter. and there is a disproportionate number of deaths occurring among the community of african-americans and other people of color and i believe our government at every level has a responsibility to acknowledge it and to work to stop it. we have got to come together but we can't solve the problem unless we recognize it and admit it. and then come together and work to solve it. there is a federal world and i'm
glad the federal government is getting involved in many of these situations. one of the things we shouldn't do is what senator portman is proposed to do. he has authored and introduced a national stop-and-frisk bill. that is not the approach we need we need some -- to pull communities together, not to use issues that drive them apart. the first thing we need to do is acknowledge the problem and then commit ourselves to finding solutions to that problem. >> moderator: senator portman? portman: there is legislation in as you may know in the senate, cory booker's legislation to reform some of our criminal justice systems in some of our laws and the disparate outcomes that have occurred. i'm a supporter of that legislation and i'm a sponsor of it. i've also taken the lead in washington over the years on this issue of people coming out of prison have the opportunity
to get their lives back on track. why? it's good for them achieving their god-given purpose in life and good for the community because he reduced crime. it's good for the taxpayer because more than half of those people are in a revolving door. they are back out and back in the prison system again. i'm the author of a second chance act to get people the opportunity to get the job skills they need to get the drug treatment they need to get the mental health help they need to get jobs and become productive citizens. they are great examples here in northeast ohio. northeast ohio is taken full advantage of the second chance act. tonight in the audience is brandon. brandon rhodes at once incredible story. the restaurant restaurant but it's much more than that. everybody who works there some who has come out of prison system and a lot of them have been through tough times.
he teaches them a skill over six months which is a culinary skill but also how to work and show up on time how to apply for a job. i brought him to washington d.c. and all the republican senators on this colleague. the second chance act. >> moderator: at if the audience would refrain from applause. governor strickland. strickland: i worked at the prison for psychologist for 10 years but it's universal criminal justice systems that are broken. we are sending too many people to jail for too long a period of time and when they get out they are in a situation where they can't make a living because of their record. we need to change things fundamentally. >> moderator: or find a question for senator portman. you're calling for the repeal of the affordable care act otherwise than as obamacare. he cosponsored a bill the senate colleague and former republican presidential candidate ted cruz they would defund obamacare that
the aca has parts of americans say they like. you still believe obamacare should be repealed and if so with what specifically will you replace that? >> i think we have to replace it. don't think the health care system was in good shape before. certainly no worse shape now. the democratic governor of minnesota said the affordable care act is anything but affordable. this is just one last weekend bill clinton said in last week its craziness by working for middle-class family. ted strickland supports it and he said it's wonderful. a 91% increase is the average increase for families in ohio. that's a 200-dollar a month increase just since since obama q1 to affect breathing. think about the small businesses that are struggling. the costs have skyrocketed. exchanges are working in the insurance companies are moving.
there are many counties down 30% this is not working for our health families. people tell me a woman named joe and what the governor of ohio saying i have health care but i don't have health or because might the dockable is so high. it's $6000 out-of-pocket. this is not working for anybody. has to be replaced. i think both candidates ted strickland and rob portman know that. we have to know that. it's not working for ohio. we have to replace it with something those patients and advocates more competition to the system and gives people more choice. it does keep some of the good parts of the affordable care act. the best part of inc. is a pre-existing conditions. you have a pre-existing condition, you can do that without turning the health care system upside down. strickland: i celebrate the fact that over 800,000 ohioans have coverage through obamacare.
i celebrate that. i suppose it's easy for someone like you who gets government subsidized health care to talk in such a cavalier casual manner about people who before obamacare had no access to health care. it's not perfect bill but it's a good bill and it's one that's we need to fix and improve but we have to keep and what the senator is suggesting if you repeal it you allow insurance companies want again to charge women more than men for health care. you allow insurance companies to say if you pre-existing condition we are not going to insure you. that's a big problem and so we need to improve it. we can do that but the senator has voted to repeal it and i have never seen any kind of replacement as a part of any vote that he has ever cast. so it's a good thing.
i'm so proud of governor john kasich for having the wisdom to expand medicare coverage only possible because of obamacare. you could expand medicare coverage without obamacare. so i'm very excited about the fact that we are moving toward a time in america where fewer people have to worry about whether or not their kids have access to care, whether or not they will have care come if they have a pre-existing condition so i support obamacare, did -- a big difference between the two of us. portman: i can't believe governor strickland continues to cover obamacare. absolutely can cover people with medicaid without the affordable care act and by the way three-quarters of people here are talking about on coverage is medicaid. we just found out there's going to be a 13% increase for people and exchanges next year. no one can afford that. i talked about the middle-class squeeze.
do you know what the big expenses for most families in ohio? health care. mod that we are going to remind you you are tuned into a debate between rob portman and ted strickland. we are coming to you live from the insurance video theater at the ideas center in cleveland ohio. this debate is sponsored by the city club of cleveland and e.w. scripps stations new site in cleveland and the bcpo cincinnati nine. we are now going to transition to the second part of our debate where we take questions from the audience. these questions are submitted by audience members and vetted by the city club and the media partners to avoid duplication. they have not been shared with the candidates. if you are following us on twitter tonight we are taking one questioned whether at hashtag city club, once again hashtag city club.
to your questions but right now we are going to our first audience question. welcome. >> good evening. my name is eric and my question is on foreign policy. but the ice is moving significant territory in iraq what do you to be seen as potential help with the long-term dismantling of fundamental teachings that have led to the creation of isis? >> moderator: this is for you governor strickland. strickland: thank you for the question as i said earlier syria is a very complicated and complex problem. there are factions in syria notable factions, religious and national factions. russia is complicating the situation certainly. the first thing we should do and i'm glad it looks as if we are moving into mosul and into the affected territories and so then we will have to focus on syria were isis will make their final hole that i believe.
we have tried to work with our partners in the area and we have to expect them to do more and we have to expect saudi arabia and others to help us more than they are helping us. we have got to continue to use our airpower effectively. i support the use of drones to take out the isis leadership. but the final solution cannot be one that america imposes. we have been at war for going on 15 years in that part of the world. we have sacrificed our wealth and the blood of our sons and daughters and so the last thing we should do is involve ourselves in another ground war over there. and so we need to improve intelligence. we need to share intelligence. we need to expect more out of our partners. we need to stand up to russia and, sorry. >> moderator: senator portman.
>> i think the question was about isis and not syria. we need to do things more effectively in one of them is laughter go after them where they are. the fact that we have told back in terms of our world in syria has given isis breathing room. i think we need to be more aggressive in terms of using u.s. airpower can sizes both in iraq and syria. it's not going to be effective just to do that. we have to do a better job protecting our own country. form fighters are stepping out. there was a warning issued the day before yesterday of a european security officials saying as mosul falls which i believe it was some point a lot of foreign fighters will go back to europe. a lot of european countries have a program with us where they can come back to united states without going through the normal procedures you would go through for visas. we need to do a better job of screening those coming back into
our country. that third and i believe this frankly is the most important aspect. we need to do a much better job of dealing with homegrown terrorism including those who were isis inspired like san bernardino. a tragedy which occurred in orlando and this is the most difficult than most important part of this. number one i think we need -- the muslim community in this country better cooperation working together to solve this problem. to get the vast majority of muslims in this country's wanting to solve this problem. ..
some of his supporters are saying and doing. i talked with two sisters who said they went to the bus to pray and one of them said we were wondering whether we should be there because of something happened to us, there would've been no one left to care for our 92-year-old mother. that's the tragic situation that results from people like donald trump. >> you will get this question. welcome. >> a good evening. my question is about climate change which is a present threat to the people, wildlife and ecosystems here in ohio. agencies are preparing for more heat related deaths. water infrastructure agencies are expecting damage for more than three and experts are concerned about water levels and algae blooms in the great lakes area and increased heat waves as
well. the native species might not able to be able in fact they found nearly half are all at risk of climate change. what are your plans to protect the people, the wildlife and the areas from the current and potential threats of climate? as you know i've taken the lead on the legislation that came from new hampshire. we have two bills already signed into law and a third bill, the combination is the equivalent of taking 20 million cars off the road in 15 years. what's important to me is that also creates jobs so it's a way to do two things, deal with the carbon emissions and help to create the environment and second do so in a way that creates more economic opportunity and i think they can be complementary and that is a good example of it and also the conservation act of tropical
forests around the world not by losing any jobs here in ohio but instead by helping the countries to be able to do spots with u.s. death. again that's been a huge savings because as the third or fourth largest cause is the burning of these tropical forests so i use these as examples of what i've actually done. getting things done, working across the aisle and making a concrete difference in both of the cases and not hurting the ohio jobs. there is another part of this when he lost the election he moved to washington and joined a lobbying group and they took on the ohio energy interests, national interests and put in place and supported over regulation that makes it impossible.
your time is up, thank you. there is only one of us that's been a registered lobbyist and that's you. your first job as a lobbyist was with a chinese-based firm and your client was desperate and killing people. i believe in science, thank you for the question. science tells us the climate is changing in large part because of human activity. i believe that and accept it. my opponent does not. he has been unwilling to say that human activity is significantly involved in climate change.
the lake is being affected by climate change and that is why i support the president's clean power plant. senator portman opposers clean power plan. i passed an energy bill that had efficiency standards and we were seeing major investments being made in ohio on wind and solar so i had taken action on this issue. senator portman opposers the most significant thing that can be done to improve our climate and that is to support the president's clean power plan. he can talk about the forest somewhere else but right here in the country is on the wrong side. the mac is false claims there that we don't have time to go through but you must be desperate. let me just say this because you mentioned it.
i've taken the lead on these pieces of legislation but also one of our huge problems here my legislation requires companies to phase out microbeads altogether. i work for mike to get republicans and democrats alike to solve the big problem. >> let's go to the next audience question. >> my question is about guns. would you explain how your stance regarding gun violence and gun regulation has either solidify or revolt in the past few years. >> thank you for that question. my position has changed or revolt over the last several years and people ask me why. i say i've got a eye eyes and ea head and a hard and i see what's
happening in the country and in the communities. 33,000 americans lose their lives to gun violence each year. about two thirds of those as a result of suicide. we can't solve the entire problem and i do believe in supporting the second amendment. always have and always will but i also believe we can have common sense solutions to this difficult problem so here is what i support, comprehensive background checks for gun sales including internet sales and gun show sales. most gun owners support that as well. in fact the nra used to support background checks and i also support keeping those that are suspected of terrorism from being able to go in and buy a semi automatic weapon.
senator portman on the other hand voted against a bipartisan bill put forth by a senate colleague that would stop terrorists from having access to guns. in this campaign i'm not talking about years ago but this campaign he said he has spotty records on this issue and he can be criticized for it. his words, not mine. so i don't know where he is on this issue. i will tell you where i am. i support tightening up background checks and getting mental health records into the checks and i also support someone that is on the no-fly list not being able to get a gun but we need to make sure people are on the no-fly list of the famous example ted kennedy was on the no-fly list and the legislation i supported the most votes. by the most votes.
it was a bipartisan bill. this is one of the things that and we should be able to solve. they didn't support that particular bill and i think that is one regardless of who wins, we should find a way to come together because there is a consensus if you are on the no-fly list you shouldn't be able to get a gun. these are important issues we have to address. when i tal talked to police offs here in cleveland they say that it's related to gangs and drugs. >> 30 seconds, governor for your rebuttal. >> effect is a bill was put forth in the written by republican senator collins of maine and it would have prevented people that wer the pe
on the terrorist suspect watchlist from buying guns. the world was watching some of the country was watching and senator portman voted no. he has sold his soul to the nra and that's why they spent nearly $2 million trying to defeat me and i'm proud of the opposition. >> we are already on the last audience question. >> this question focuses on education. testing takes away from teaching time. what changes would you make? >> that is a great question and for teachers out there that are listening, they all feel this way some may be stronger than others they don't want to teach the test, they want to teach students so i support the legislation called the every
child succeeds at. it was worked on with republicans and democrats alike in the past couple of months a ago. it did change the law so there are not as many students that are focusing on the test but actual learning. i also think it's important to support your students or the way through the process, so i support allowing students in high school to be able to get college credit. it's called early college, early high school legislation. i also supported legislation to ensure when someone gets out of college and they have a big student at which unfortunately a lot to do, 28,000 is the average. they should be able to consolidate and refinance. it has an interesting provision
that for students they cannot never to pay more than 15% of their income and interest on their desk. it would be terrific for the students and the economy. >> senator, i don't know if it is the lighting in here but my -- or my perspective your nose seems to be growing. you have consistently opposed allowing ohio students to refinance their student debt at a lower interest rate. that is his record. now let me say this about the question. we need to respect teachers. we need to allow teachers to help us formulate the approach that we take when we try to educate our kids. for far too long we try to adopt a corporate business model for our schools. we treat our children as if there is some kind of wedge.
every child i child is individuy child is different, every child has a different method of learning and needs to be valued as an individual student. this testing is maddening and counterproductive, it is harmful and it takes away from a good educational experience. education should be enjoyable and adequately funded and as i said, we need to put professional educators in charge of education. what we have done is allow politicians at the federal level to dictate too much of our education policy. >> again, the bitter partisan attacks over here, he needs to look at the act because it is good bipartisan legislation that allows students in ohio to pay less than student loans, that is good for them and the economy so they can buy a car, a house, get
out of the parents basement. it's good legislation and the kind of thing i focus on. i know it frustrates him because i got a lot done. when he was there he got 45. >> we've come to the point for the closing remarks. by prior agreement of the candidates will follow the same order as the opening remarks and we want to let you know you have 90 seconds and we are going to begin with senator portman. >> appreciate you tonight you have seen a contrast here. you've seen ted strickland talk about opposing a tax and he doesn't want to talk about the record. i wouldn't want to talk about it either. [inaudible] i talk about my independent voice working across the aisle to get stuff done to help ohio
families and workers. what i do is go to washington, d.c. to represent you in the senate taking with me the ohio values i learned growing up. when i was a kid i was living here in cleveland ohio. my dad had a job as a salesman. he decided to give it up and take a big risk. he took us back to cincinnati ohio which was his hometown to follow his dream to start a small business. he mortgaged the house, couldn't get enough to start the business process he had to go to my mom's uncle to get a loan to start the business. five people, five other guys my mom was the bookkeeper and they lost money the first few years but they persevered through hard work of sacrifice and an ethical approach to business eventually finding their niche. i worked there, my sister worked there, i swept the shop floor,
built a paint booth, recently i ran into a guy that i've known almost my whole life, he was a mechanic. you need to wrap it up, sorry. governor strickland, 90 seconds for closing remarks. >> i want to talk to the people of ohio. there is a choice between rob portman born with a silver spoon in his mouth who spent his political life looking out for people like him, the wealthy, the well-connected, the wall street insiders and thinkers. i have a different story. i spent my life working for people so that's why i opposed nafta and i supported the auto rescued, he opposed it. i opposed raising the retirement age and privatizing social security and culture rising medicare. he wants to raise the retirement age, he voted for the rights to medicare and he wants to
privatize social security. in terms of working people, he is opposed to raising the minimum wage. he's voted overtime pay from 6 million of you that lost overtime pay because of this man. i am fighting for you. i believe in working people. i think you need a break. senator portman represents everything that you don't like. he's the ultimate insider and he's taking care of those that are already well-to-do and i want to take care of regular working ohioans, people that actually work for a living. >> i ask the audience to refrain from any noises and sounds. you've been good so far. you've been turned into ohio count race for the senate between rob portman and ted strickland sponsored by the city club of cleveland, news five in cleveland and cincinnati nine on
your side, pbs and idea stream i would like to think the candidates for participating tonight and also a thank you to the studio into twitte and twite for their thoughtful questions. from news five here from iowa public radio and television thank you for tuning in and good night in cleveland. [applause] [applause]
media. when you grow up in an environment like i did you need people to play a sort of heroic role for you to have a chance and luckily i had that and this is the story of how they impacted my life in a lot of positive ways. >> there wasn't this connection that now exists in my mind between education and opportunities because even the people who did pretty well in school didn't necessarily make a whole lot out of themselves. you saw so many people not making or having good opportunities but it was hard to believe school mattered that much.